How to Pick the Right HVAC Certification Course near Green Valley Arizona
Once you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Green Valley AZ. But with so many to select from, how do you choose the best one to obtain the training that you need? A number of future students will make their selection based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how close the school is to their residence. Even though these are significant factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other things that you need to look into are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we tackle how to choose an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.
How to Become an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are typically mandated to be licensed, although every state and local municipality has its own requirements. Obtaining professional certification is not required, but an alternative way for Green Valley AZ HVAC specialists to prove that they are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are offered. Following are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is earned by passing a proficiency examination and may be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level exam. As with NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for techs that work with refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to acquire certification, it’s imperative that you select an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will more than likely be dealing with refrigerants, make sure that the program you choose preps you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.
HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes
There are a number of options available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the minimum amount of time, usually completed in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief description of each credential offered near Green Valley AZ.
- Certificate. Generally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level commercial or residential HVAC specialists. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive knowledge of heating and cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking 2 years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a conventional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.
Choosing the appropriate credential program will be based on what your long term career objectives are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Green Valley AZ, eventually going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Courses Online
Choosing an HVAC school online is one approach to attaining your education and receiving a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. A number also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes can be participated in online, this approach may be a more accessible solution for many Green Valley AZ students that are pressed for time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even driving expenses from Green Valley and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family responsibilities have left you with little time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to fit school into your active schedule.
Questions For HVAC Training Classes
As soon as you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you would like to attain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Green Valley AZ area and across the USA to choose from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the first 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC vocational programs in the Green Valley AZ area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Green Valley AZ HVAC employers to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most HVAC vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of HVAC companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Green Valley AZ HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Green Valley AZ HVAC contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Green Valley AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Green Valley AZ?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Green Valley Arizona area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Green Valley, Arizona
Green Valley is located along the western side of the Santa Cruz River at 31°51′N 111°0′W / 31.850°N 111.000°W / 31.850; -111.000 (31.8556, -111.0001).Continental is to the east of Green Valley, on the other side of the river.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 26.3 square miles (68.0 km²), of which, 26.2 square miles (68.0 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.08%) is water.
Green Valley is twenty miles (32 km) south of Tucson and 40 miles (64 km) north of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Surrounded by copper mines, and near the cycling, hiking and birding areas of the Santa Rita Mountains, Green Valley is an unincorporated retirement community composed of 59 Homeowner Associations.
Online HVAC Schools Green Valley AZ
Picking the right HVAC training course is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the heating and cooling trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding Online HVAC Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, you should select an Heating and Cooling trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other things to search for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC specialist in Green Valley AZ.
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